‘I Remember, I Remember’ is, along with ‘The Song of the Shirt’, Thomas Hood’s best-loved poem. Although much of the rest of his work is not now much read or remembered, ‘I Remember, I Remember’ has a special place in countless readers’ hearts. Although its meaning is fairly straightforward, it’s worth probing the language of Hood’s poem a little deeper, as closer analysis reveals why this poem is held in such high regard.
I Remember, I Remember
I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!
I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built, Read the rest of this entry
Coleridge, the co-author with Wordsworth of Lyrical Ballads, was born in Ottery St Mary in Devon in 1772. The village is named for the river which passes through it – the river which Coleridge eulogises in this Romantic sonnet, ‘To the River Otter’, recalling his childhood when he skimmed stones along the river’s surface:
Sonnet: To the River Otter
Dear native Brook! wild Streamlet of the West!
How many various-fated years have past,
What happy and what mournful hours, since last
I skimm’d the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps! yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray, Read the rest of this entry
‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’: John Keats wrote many a memorable and arresting opening line in his short life, but his opening to his great poem ‘To Autumn’, one of his finest odes, is perhaps his most resonant of all. On one level a straightforward evocation of the season of autumn, ‘To Autumn’ (or ‘Ode to Autumn’ as it is sometimes known) is also a poem that subtly reflects the early nineteenth-century context in which it was written. Such contemporary allusions and references require closer analysis, but before we get to them, here is John Keats’s great autumnal poem.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; Read the rest of this entry